Seafood Nutrition Partnership's Statement on USDA Studies Encouraging Americans to Eat More Seafood for a Healthier Diet

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U.S. consumers are missing out on the health benefits of seafood. That’s the conclusion of two recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies that found the amount of seafood being eaten by consumers are inadequate to meet federal dietary guidelines and reduce incidents of leading preventable diseases, such as heart disease.

U.S. consumers are missing out on the health benefits of seafood. That’s the conclusion of two recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies that found the amount of seafood being eaten by consumers are inadequate to meet federal dietary guidelines and reduce incidents of leading preventable diseases, such as heart disease. http://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2015/aug/seafood/

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership, whose core mission is to educate Americans about the critical health benefits of eating seafood, strongly supports the findings of the studies conducted by researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

We know eating seafood containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals just two times a week, which is recommended by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease by at least 36 percent. However, a ARS study found that an alarming 80 to 90 percent of U.S. consumers did not meet dietary seafood recommendations.

A second USDA study explored seafood consumption’s link to heart health, and found consistent evidence supporting reduced risk of heart disease due particularly to eating oily fish. The study concluded that getting the message of the health benefits of eating seafood to consumers is key, and suggested a public education program was the best way to do so.

That recommendation matches the mission and efforts undertaken by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s public health education campaign launching this October, National Seafood Month.

In 2014, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership conducted pilot public health education programs in Indianapolis, Indiana and Memphis, Tennessee to educate local citizens about the essential health benefits of eating seafood and build skills to incorporate healthy fats from seafood and nutrient dense foods into daily meals.

The success of these programs led to expansion of our grassroots, public health education campaign this fall to eight U.S. cities, featuring cooking demonstrations, free health screenings for omega-3 levels, and distribution of health education literature and recipes.

Through these efforts, we aim to build awareness about the essential nutritional and health benefits from eating seafood, help Americans gain the skills to select, order, and prepare fish and shellfish and inspire a healthier America by promoting a nutrient-rich diet centered around seafood.

Linda Cornish, Executive Director

About the Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is a 501(c)3 whose mission is to inspire a healthier America through partnerships that raise awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood. Through its public education efforts, the organization aims to help Americans gain the skills to select, order and prepare fish and shellfish, and to inspire a healthier America by promoting a nutrient-rich diet that includes seafood. SNP is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and the NCD Roundtable. For more information visit: seafoodnutrition.org

Data on the nutrient content of seafood can be found in the USDA-ARS National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

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Linda Cornish
@Seafood4Health
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